Under the supervision of Mike “Juice” Williams of the Bellmawr Highway Department, a small group of the Borough’s teenagers has been hard at work painting the town’s fences. Williams said that the painting project is part of Bellmawr’s Summer Rec Program and that the teens, who are 14-15 years old are “a great group of kids who do exactly what they are asked to do.”
The teens work from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Williams said the guys are there ready to get started by 6:45 a.m. “This is a good thing for the kids,” Williams said. “I started working when I was 12. This gives them work experience and it gives them a taste of the real world.”
Despite the hot temperatures and having to work in full sun, there are no complaints. “Most 14-15 year olds want to be home sleeping, but these kids want to work,” Williams said. The teens have been working for the past three weeks and so far, they’ve painted the fences at the Bellmawr Girls Softball Fields, the Ryan Coyle Baseball Field, and now, they are in the process of doing the fences at the Bellmawr Purple Eagles Football Field.
Billy Evans is one of the teen painters. He was smiling as he returned to work following a water break. He didn’t seem bothered by the heat or that his face and clothes were splattered with black paint. He nodded when asked if he was glad he was given the opportunity to work. “It gives me the chance not to be bored and it gives me the chance to do something this summer,” he said.
Sponsored by the Borough of Bellmawr, the Summer Rec Program also provides a free five week, daily summer camp for Bellmawr kids ages 7-12. Teens are employed to work as Camp Counselors to help run the camp by providing fun activities, such as sporting activities, water games, and arts and crafts. Those campers are supervised by Dawn Gillis and Kelly Cook.